Stacy Kohut - ride for fun, race to win

Oct 16, 2009
by Tomasz Profic  
When I came to Whistler for the first time, I didn't know what to expect. I saw a lot of people riding on their bikes and I'm still shocked on how many people ride in the bike park everyday. When I was going up for another run I saw someone who caught my eye and mind for a long time. It was Stacy Kohut shredding on his fourcross bike.

Read on for my interview with Stacy Kohut,
Some action!
Some action!

As I'm a writer for the Polish bike magazine 43RIDE, I instantly thought of an article about him to our mag. Two days later (me and my friend, Michał Chodkowski) met with Stacy for a little photoshoot. We weren't alone because on the same day Nicole Fitzgerald from SHAW TV was shooting an interview with Stacy.

Nicole Fitzgerald & Stacy Kohut
Nicole Fitzgerald & Stacy Kohut

Preparing for the interview
Preparing for the interview

Stacy Kohut is a unique personality. Outside Canada he's best known as a gold medal champion in skiing in the Paralympic Winter Games in Lillehammer. He is linked with cycling by the fact, that he is a co-owner of R-ONE, a producer of 4-wheel bikes for disabled sportsmen allowing them to ride downhill.


Stacy started his adventure with sports at childhood, and sports have always been part of his life. He started in 1980 with BMX racing and motorbikes. He was also into skiing and snowboarding. Suddenly in 1992 his life changed dramatically – while playing on a swing, he became a handicap. He fell down from the swing and broke his back, the result from the crash is that he ended-up in paralysis from the waist down. This tragedy has not stopped him from continuing his passions. On contrary, from that moment onwards his sport achievements overshadowed his previous successes.


[Quoten]Stacy Kohut: "My way to the medal started soon after my accident in 1992. From the beginning I had to set up small goals, after achieving them I set new ones. First of all you must stay yourself, laugh when you can and constantly aim at achieving your goals. If you want to be the best in something, this will certainly help you.”[/Quoten]


His biggest success was achieving gold in skiing during the Paralympics in Lillehammer, Norway (1994). This means that he became the first Canadian, to win a gold at the Paralympics. His next successes happened during the Paralympics in Nagano, Japan (1998 ). Already at this point, you could find Stacy in Whistler in the bike park on his fourcross bike.


Fourcross is built on a simple idea. The whole construction is based on standard bike parts, so you'll find four Fox dampers, four Hayes’ brakes, Sun Rims’ rims on Maxxis’ tires. If we add brands such as Oakley and Troy Lee Designs, we will get the full list of the companies supporting Stacy. However the heart of his bike is the R-ONE frame, which is made of aluminum and steel and it's handmade by Johnny Therien, the co-owner of R-ONE.

Stacy Kohut: "R-ONE is a company managed by riders. R-ONE builds, rides, races and sells fourcrosses. In previous years nobody has built or sold more than R-ONE. R-ONE hails from the epicentre of the lift assisted mountain bike movement, Whistler ,B.C., in the good 'ol C.A. of N"


R-ONE means two people: Stacy - "mouth" and Johnny Therien - "hands". By “mouth” I mean the person who takes care of adverts, PR, promotions etc. Whereas Johnny is responsible for assembling whole bikes and welding R-ONE frames.

The whole magic of these bikes is that they are able to run down nearly every DH track. The width of this set up is only 2" bigger than a standard bike. The suspension system is very simple (like single pivot?) and makes the ride comfortable. Complete bikes weigh around 32kg (70lbs) and are built to resist everything. Stacy is proud of the fact, that his frame is in good shape and already in its fifth season without any damage!


Racing the fourcross started at the end of the 80s and was initiated by John Castellano and John Davis. Now Stacy Kohut and Johnny Therien continue this trend and help other disabled sportsmen to make their dreams come true. Both of them hope that this sport will develop further and so will their R-ONE company.

Stacy Kohut!
Stacy Kohut!

Stacy Kohut: "Riding fourcross allows for an incredible linkage of different cycling styles. The most important one is downhill, but we can find other elements from car racing and motocross. This sport is achievable for all that like riding a bike or motorbike, cross-country or on roads."

Michal showing some photos to Stacy
Michal showing some photos to Stacy

You'll run into Stacy in the Whistler Bike Park. Personally I had the opportunity to take few runs with Stacy on A-Line and honestly catching him on a bike is quite a difficult job. The height of his jumps is about the same as we can make on bikes, but there are moments when he's much faster than a bike. Also he has a few shortcuts built specially for his fourcross bikes.

Why am I so happy after meeting Stacy? I had a 'little' crash 2 years ago and I broke my back. Fortunately it wasn't 'big fail' so after three months in bed I could get back on my bike. But my crash changed my mind and now I'm riding a little safer - if I can say that in addition to dirt jumping. After my meeting with Stacy I'm sure that "nothing is impossible" and nothing can stop me (us?) in realizing my passion everywhere and everytime... and I hope I’ll meet him again one day.

"Ride for fun, race to win!"

Stacy Kohut & Johhny Terrien's R-ONE website: r-onefourcross.com

Here's a video of Nicole's coverage from TV:
Views: 15,670    Faves: 68    Comments: 6



Text by Tomasz Profic
Photos by Michał Chodkowski
Thanks to Agnieszka Nowicka for help with translating
43RIDE bike magazine




ps. If you know some polish or just want to know what's happening in Poland you can check our mag at 43RIDE.com. It's in PDF format and downloading is free - just right click and save as...

43RIDE bike mag issue #8
43RIDE bike mag issue #8



115 Comments

  • + 67
 you my freind have so much inspiration and devotion its crazy. not too mention guts cause i could never get on and do something like that.
  • + 21
 i agree with konaracer^^, he must really love the sport to keep going at it as hard as he is, and the gus it would take as mentioned above, is just amazing. id be scared shitless riding a-line while sitting in one of those. props to u stacey Salute
  • + 20
 i alwas see that guy at whistler, and it just makes me think... You can do anything as long as you have your heart set to it.
  • + 4
 i want to ride one of those, they look so fun to ride
  • + 9
 amen brotha(^dray^). cant believe he won the paralympics just about2 years after his accident! i envy this guy for so many reasons. keep on ripping!
  • + 5
 i wonder what he does if he crashes?
  • + 5
 Apparently this guy is a dick to the lift attendants. If someone doesn't know how to help him on, he gets very aggrevated. Just because he can't enjoy riding a real bike doesn't mean he has the excuse to be a dick to people. I don't care how much of an "inspiration" this guy is if he is going to act like such a brute all the time. The lift attendants should contact MTV and bring him on Bully Beatdown.
  • + 3
 I think theres an episode of robot chicken with the world's most one sided fist fights. that could go in there
  • + 0
 First of all, calm down konaracer91. Second, my mention of Bully Beatdown was a partial joke, rumor has it that even Stacy K. himself had a laugh. However, I still stand by the rest.
  • - 3
 haha how did u manage to find out that he laughed at it?
  • + 3
 Coiler, do you have any actual proof aside from useless anecdotal evidence to back up this claim, or is your "apparently" side of the story all we have to go on? No offense, but I could just as easily say the same thing about you. Apparently coiler66 is a dick to lift attendants. True story guys.
  • + 1
 Yup, you're right, I have nothing better to do then go around and talk trash about paralyzed people. I have my sources, and that should be good enough for you. If I was really trying to bug people, I would have said something like, "Nice no-footer Stacy!" The fact that I said he was a dick has nothing to do with his dissability, but alot to do with his personality. Grow up cyrix, grow up.
  • + 13
 hey coiler66, stacy here.

liftees, man where do i start. definately a unique relationship between myself and them for sure. i respect them, they respect me. we get along, we drink coffee, we shoot the sh*t. they know they are in charge of multi million dollars machines, machines that can and sometimes do hurt people if the operator and rider do not pay 100% attention.. what you need to know is you can't ride as much as i do and not have some liftees blow a load or two during week long period. anytime i've 'worked' a liftee , its been because there was a chance of injury or damage to very expensive equipment. and truthfully, the majority of the time the liftee will apologize to me about not being on point during his /her shift. i have also apologized for raising my voice or being short with them. its a two way street. i know it, the liftees know it, and now so do you. peace stacy
  • + 2
 Fair enough. I can understand why you may get fiesty with them, especially if there is a possibility that your life may be in jeopardy, due to poor attention on the liftees part. My bad, and no disrespect, hopefully you can see where I was coming from. Thank you for providing closure.
  • + 8
 no sweat dude..........

the important thing to remember is that it is the liftees and my goal to get the fourcross loaded as quickly and safely as possible. we do not wanna hold up the lifts for the rest of the bike park customers, and we both do not wanna look like dorks doing our jobs(liftees loading/me loading and riding the fourcross). sometimes though, it just doesn't work out, and we can get choked at each other....believe me, i've had a few liftees lay into me for chating to somebody, or staring off into space ,not paying atttention to the load procedure.think about a heavy weekend or during crankworx, me and a liftee trying to be as pro as possible with 1400 people watching and wondering when the load is gonna be complete and the lift gets moving full speed again. no pressure...........yeah right. peace stacy
  • - 6
flag cyrix (Oct 19, 2009 at 20:27) (Below Threshold)
 So you tell some story and provide NO source to legitimately prove what you're saying is true, then you tell me to "grow up" for asking for your source? I think maybe you should listen to your own advice sport.
  • + 1
 Ok, I can see where this is going. Stacy himself even admitted to raising his voice at the liftees. I guess that isn't enough proof for anyone. I may have taken Stacy's actions out of context, but you now know it is possible for me to have heard him raise his voice, as he admitted to it. If I had overheard someone else well known in the biking population act indifferent to the liftees, and there happened to be an article on him/her, I would have brought it up as well.
  • - 10
flag cyrix (Oct 19, 2009 at 23:25) (Below Threshold)
 So again explain why me asking for proof is grounds for telling me to "grow up." That was nothing more than a cheap cop out.
  • + 4
 I told you to grow up so that you might realize that your reason for arguing with me is because Stacy is paralyzed. If he was some random guy, nobody would have a problem with what I am saying. I am just treating Stacy like a normal person. I have told him I am sorry for taking his actions out of context. I really don't know what else you want from me. I am pretty sure that Stacy and myself are on the same page, so if it is good enough for him, I am sure it is good enough for you cyrix.
  • - 10
flag cyrix (Oct 20, 2009 at 0:12) (Below Threshold)
 I wasn't arguing with you because he is paralyzed, and I'm pretty disgusted that you think that's why I would question your retarded allegations. Seriously coiler, that's really low. You are the one who seems hung up on his disability. I wasn't treating stacy like he wasn't normal. I would have called you out no matter who the article was about. You're the one with issues champ, NOT ME. If you projected your own issues any harder I could use your head to do power point presentations.
  • + 4
 Are you serious? How hard is it to believe that Stacy made his own profile. It seems like a good time for Stacy to make one, taking into account he may want to comment on an article about himself.
  • + 4
 How retarded can my allegations be, when the subject of which admitted he took part in them?
  • - 9
flag cyrix (Oct 20, 2009 at 0:25) (Below Threshold)
 You have the luxury of using that logic AFTER he commented. You do realize that right? Before you were just making baseless assumptions. Or is that too hard for you to comprehend? God you're ridiculous.
  • + 7
 If I was just making baseless assumptions, then I guess I got pretty lucky. No. I obviously got my "assumptions" from somewhere credible. Your problem, cyrix, is that you dont trust anyone. For all I know, you have major abandonment issues, and won't trust anyone. That is what I would call a baseless assumption.
  • - 10
flag cyrix (Oct 20, 2009 at 1:09) (Below Threshold)
 First of all, you've yet to show your original source, and I really don't think you ever will. Nice deflection junior. Second, you're REALLY trying to psychoanalyze me? You're psychotic. Yeah I'm done with this conversation, enjoy your delusions.
  • - 11
flag josh522 (Oct 20, 2009 at 1:13) (Below Threshold)
 Dude...coiler. What's wrong with you? Calm down dude.
  • + 2
 how about u all calm down and just let it go and stop commenting
  • + 5
 Yo, I rode 66 days at Whistler this summer and I saw Stacy be rude a few times to the lifties, to back Coiler66's point. It never happened on the gondola, the gondola is easier for him to load. Some days the gondola was closed to bikes and Stacy, that's where the issues came from. I see where both parties are coming from, its hard for lifties because they don't know exactly what to do and its also hard for Stacy because he doesn't want his bike getting damaged or himself injured.
  • + 11
 bunkey, i see what you're talking about, but i can't edit text anymore after clicking "submit to pinkbike" Wink anyway writing in other lang is harder than you think, especially when you don't use it very often Wink few sentences looks very stupid when you're translating them and they don't have any sense when you're translating them directly, i think you understand me Wink anyway thanks for your comments!
  • + 3
 Bardzo dobry artykuł. Dobrze jest widzieć 4 quady uzyskania dobrego zasięgu. Dziękuję
Salute
  • + 3
 to be honest if english isnt your first language it's really bloody difficult to write in ,due to double meanings etc, even if your language is similar (german,french,spanish etc)let alone a language that is based on cyrilic not Latin Salute
  • + 4
 English isn't very difficult, but i wasn't ace at school Wink try to learn some Polish and you'll see what I'm talking about, haha... anyway, it's nice to see that everyone understands everything, even if it's not written perfectly Wink
  • + 5
 I would like to learn to speak, or at least understand some Polish one day...there is a growing Polish population in my area and it would make life a little easier at times when we hit the language barrier (although much of the time they speak better English than we do haha), but it pains me to think that there are riders/friends out there that I haven't met simply because of my ignorance...I haven't even bothered to learn "hello" or "thankyou" Redface
If you would like any proof reading of future blogs, let me know. Salute Beer
  • + 13
 there are no limits
  • + 8
 I saw that guy at Whistler. He rips. He can even get into the Gondola which is cool. Good read!
  • + 7
 yea i saw this guy he is so fast its ridiculus and he makes all the tables on a-line props for being so devoted to his sport.
  • + 4
 i think your really missing the point this guy rocks.... seen few lads riding the 4 wheelers at whinlatter north trail... not as hard core as stacy though... he gets more whipped up than me or half the lads i ride with... oh an exscuse my excesive use of.....thankyou please!!!
  • + 5
 Inspiring. I like to see stories about folk who flip the bird at life when it tries to make things hard, and get on and do what most people can only dream of doing. Props to Stacy and spqrtomas.
  • + 5
 huge respect to this man. its sadly ironic, that he actually got his trauma... on a swing. not extreme biking, not extreme skiing. but hey, he is up and will stay up. thats the spirit. ride on.
  • + 5
 Bunkey was the needed? no!
do you speek Polish?
Awnser:probably not
so think what it must be like trying to write an article like that not even in your first language!
  • + 4
 Inspiration yes. But I've seen and heard nothing but Stacey's poor attitude towards other riders. and yes, lift attendants. He should really change his attitude. I've looked up to him when I was young and new to the sport, But when I've heard and seen nothing but piss poor attitude towards others. That totally changed. But whatever. It's just my two cents.
  • + 0
 hey bolesy, stacy here......
thanks for your positive comments on me being an inspiration, its not something that is a goal of mine, and i do not intentionally set out to be an inspiration, i just do my thing. i have no control over other peoples reactions. it is nice to hear some people find something in my riding. i know i found something for me with my riding.
i know that about 5-7 years ago i used to get into it with certain liftees and with intermediate riders that did not really have much trail awareness.
that was years ago. that was then, this is now. i have learnt and grown from those days. can't live in the past. i have a great repore with all wbp liftees/lift supervisors.....you may not understand our relationship, but we do. peace and wheelies bolesy. stacy
  • + 3
 I saw this guy ripping the trail when I was riding up the chairlift this summer (at whistler) I can attest to him being hardcore and not just putting on a "show" for the cameras. I'd have a hard time keeping up to him; he has serious skills!!
Rock on dude, thumbs up.
  • + 2
 good to see you doing well Stacey!!! keep it rollin!
  • + 4
 AWESOME! i remember reading about a guy with a similar setup in mountain bike action (imported into the uk) about 15-18 years ago.it always stuck with me
massive respect to ya
  • + 4
 This is fantastic. Not only is it a great product that Stacy's produces for a purpose, but hell, I'd love to have a go at one! It actually looks like great fun!
  • + 2
 That's what I was thinking when I watched one of R-ONE's videos! No matter your physical capabilities, those fourcross rigs look like a blast to ride and I would love to try one out! Stacy, you ROCK, man.
  • + 2
 I saw this guy at whistler when I was up there one day. He is absolutely amazing on that thing. Me and my friends were taking a break when all of a sudden we heard the sound of thunder, and it ended up being a 4weeler. crazy stuff.
  • + 2
 Its great to see such a inspiring paralypian still pushing the limits of our sport! Having broken my back 5 years ago now, I almost came to the realization of having the same paralyzation as Stacey, Props to you for still riding, I also still ride but with much more caution. With Mtbiking becoming a massive sport through out the world its rad to see R-ONE making four cross biking available to broken riders who still want to push wheeled non-engined rigs to the max! My Hat goes off to R-ONE and Stacey!
  • + 2
 He is an amazing inspirational figure. someone to look up to and someone who deserves to be rewarded for all his efforts. I don't know how he does it, but he is a true leader in the general sport of mountain biking.
Good for him !!! He is awesome !!!!! Smile
  • + 2
 I witnessed him and another fourcross rider fist fighting in the parking lot at Whistler, it was so dis-heartning. You would think they would want to support each other in the sport, not bring each other down. Bad attitude will get you now where in life!
  • + 2
 hi prawana1, stacy kohut here. i just wanted to post to let you know that your facts are slightly off. i heard there was a scuffel between a couple fourcross dudes this summer, i was riding when it happened. lots of comments on it when i stopped for the day. so many people told me about it, and of course the running joke with people who know me was that in couple days there would be post on the web saying it was stacy kohut fighting in the pits. sorry but it was NOT me. kinda reminds me of the lady that saw me playing basketball in a tv commercial last year. just because somebody rolls that don't make them stacy kohut. besides, i have no need to fight and beat up other fourcrossers in the pits, i do that with my performance on the track. peace
  • + 2
 saw him up there, he was absoulutely killin it! good for you, and quite the inspiring story...its great that this sport now offers an oppurtunity to those who are dedicated to this sport, but have permanent injusries such as stacey's...
Salute
  • + 1
 Nicely done! Looks like an absolute blast.

On a different note - Am i the only one who thinks that would be much more do-able on four wheels for those of us with equilibrium problems? Does the R-one chassis make provision for a quad bike style setup with a live rear axle or a de-dion setup? (please don't shoot me for being stupid!) I love the idea of fourcross, and the idea of fourcross as an inclusive sport!
  • + 2
 Stacy, you've always amazed me. You were inspiring kids and teens with various disabilities two months after you got hurt, and you haven't stopped. The rest of us are in awe of your accomplishments (so far), well done.
  • + 1
 dang Stacy talk about motivation! you are like a big boost for me riding my 2 wheel bike. i knew of this before you but i didn't think you could win Olympics with it. you should win like a Nobel peace prize or something. even though i will never meet you, you are still a big motivation!
  • + 1
 thank you everyone for such kind words. johnny and i have worked very hard to get the fourcross and the sport to the position that will make the sport available to ALL people. we know ALOT of people would love to rent one for a half day etc. nothing wrong with trading in your 2 wheels for 4, even if it is for a half day. riding a fourcross is a blast plain and simple. for anyone out there riding the hate train on stacy, realize this, just like the mtb world itself, i have changed and grown tons in the last 5-7 years. please don't let something from waaaaaaaay back blindside you to the fact that 99 percent of the time i am very easy to talk to and with. oh yeah , one more thing, it only 197 days until the whistler bike park opens. see you soon. peace.
  • + 1
 197 days isn't exactly soon....but that will be a glorious day!
  • + 3
 too bad therapeutic programs havent jumped on board with this yet, maybe one day soon we can see places catering to ADA mountain bike trails?
  • + 2
 nice to see the sitting ski-sled(w.e the thing is called that paraplegic people use) being brought into the biking worldtup nice job boys and nice riding staceytup
  • + 1
 Stacy,

Was great seeing you in the old neighbourhood on Saturday! Love your bike looks awesome! Great pics too! You were always fast! My email is hockeh@hotmail.com, drop me a line so I can get your email! Take care Boland
  • + 2
 that is sick! now if i shold get hurt here in afghanistan i still got somethn to look forward to and huge props dood going big at whistler
  • + 1
 stay safe, man.
  • + 1
 Yeah Stacy. Thank god for DH bike parks. Arm pumping the Airdrie BMX track would get pretty old. Looking forward to riding with you again soon. You crack 100 days this year?
Ken
  • + 2
 He is also a Paralympic gold medallist and world champion sit skier, although he told me he hasn't been on the snow in a few years now due to feeling maxed out.
  • + 3
 a few days ago i saw this guy at whistler...on a-line!
  • + 3
 wow this is a imposible gratulations for this man
  • + 1
 Wow that is absalutly amazing...keep doing what your doing, you are very inspiring. I first heard about you through one of your friends jason. Smile Smile Smile
  • - 1
 I am glad this guy continues to shred. I do think he needs to work on his manners however. I watched him unload on some people in line for the Gondola at Whistler. A guy was simply trying to open a gate for him and he went ape and made a big scene...
  • + 2
 so he's not allowed a bad day? everyone has their moments, that's part of what makes us human and not mindless robots.
Or is it that you feel he should be all meek and humble because he can't walk?
  • + 2
 i agree i actually met him in the village. he is a a total G, and if you a disagree than i think you should work on your manners.
  • + 2
 nothing could grind this guy down utter respect Stacy, wot a guy, inspirational determination awesome, RIDE FREE Smile
  • + 1
 stacy your a champ! i have always thought that the stuff you do is the coolest thing a paralyzed person could do. KEEP ON TRUCKIN!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Im amazed.. That's a BIG MAN. I think u Stacy make stronger and give big prospects for all other people, not just disabled. Keep on man!
  • + 3
 I saw a pic of Tara Llanes on one yesterday. You know she's gonna rip.
  • + 1
 Kohut!... Great article man! i Really hope my dad is able to send me out there next summer! pce Will
  • + 1
 I saw him really often in the Whistler bike park and he's incredible! Got Balls.
  • + 1
 Stacy, you are a Monster Inspiration man! I am in awe...'nuff said. Keep ripping Brother!
  • + 2
 very good idea to make available sport has all
  • + 2
 i want one for meee and one for the able bodied
  • + 2
 sickest thing on 4 wheels,gives the ATV/Rally experience with out a engine
  • + 3
 Looking good Stacey!
  • + 1
 Nice write-up.. guy rips, no doubt. I remember Stacy blowing my doors off at Lake Louise on his sit-ski.
  • + 3
 thats awesome
  • + 2
 tuck no handers would look sick on one of those
  • + 2
 i saw him up there, he was rippin it!
  • + 2
 this men really have bols
  • + 2
 that is an amazing story Smile
  • + 1
 i saw this dude when i went to whistler i think...It might be the same guy!
  • + 2
 Great article, very inspiring. He has my respect, no doubt.
  • + 1
 big inspiration for everyone and an awesome bike
  • + 2
 he can do GLC drop
  • + 0
 hey travis1811, stacy here....

the glc drop stunt was not done by me, it was done by eric lindsley on an old bender-huck style fourcross.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOGDpg68VTg

just wanted to clear that up.

maybe one day i'll huck my meat off that thing, until then i'll be the dude scrubing, whipping and riding really fast. checkers, not wreckers for this kid.peace and wheelies. stacy
  • + 1
 "What should happen? Break my nack again?" Big Grin
  • + 2
 work it.. more raatt!
  • + 2
 nice how much cost???
  • + 4
 R-One fourcross bike it's a cost around $11.000 canadian dollars... you can find all info at R-One's website - r-onefourcross.com
  • + 1
 haha awesome
  • + 1
 thts fricken sweet!!
  • + 1
 go argentina
  • + 1
 this guy is awesome! Big Grin
  • + 1
 badass
  • - 1
 im not paralized but i kinda want 1 they look fun XD
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